I'm glad to see these items selling so well even though they come up for sale often. I recently had an exchange with a long-time collector as to whether these items are really skittle game pieces or are simply decorative elements for a table. When I first began exploring the fun world of vintage Halloween collecting in 1988, I took my cues from dealers and collectors active in the hobby for many years preceding my involvement. Two of these folks, Paul Schofield and Mary Lou Holt, described these items the same way - as skittles. (No one ever described them differently.) Over the years, I've seen a few boxes surface for these items. These boxes do not describe them as anything other than Hallowe'en Figures. So, what is the real answer?
09/01 Update: I've received a number of meaty replies. Here is the one I like best: "The pumpkin head skittle you commented on presents another clue. The base on all three that are for sale on eBay currently have a bigger base than the usual. It has a double slot which would be for a place or name card in front I believe. That would lend credence to the table favor use. However I think this base is rather rare as I've usually seen only the narrow base with slanted sides. The narrow ones would be usable in a bowling type game. Skittles was a very popular game during this time so you can't totally discard that idea. Perhaps multiple sales ideas for the same product? Crazy how variations keep being unearthed in many of the German products. THANKS so much for your work!! It's means a lot to dealers and collectors to get this information."